A life that includes managing a chronic illness can be a real challenge! If you’re in a similar boat as mine, I want you to know that you are not alone. The list of things you may be responsible for would be overwhelming for anyone, but when you add in debilitating symptoms life can get even more cumbersome.
While I wish that I had all the energy in the world to accomplish everything I desire, it’s not realistic right now. As I prioritize health, there are other things that grown adults should be able to manage that I just don’t quite have together. I’m learning that it’s okay. It’s even good. I know my boundaries right now.
If you’ve felt like you’re drowning while facing a chronic illness and don’t know how other people seem to live “normal lives” while facing similar challenges to yours, you’re going to see that I don’t have it all together. In fact, my life is often of the opposite of “all together”…
If you’re anything like me, then you are in good company!
Here are 19 things I don’t do as I face Chronic Lyme Disease:
1) I don’t cook
The crockpot is my best friend. I’ll throw in meat and veggies for some lunches and most dinners. Then, I drink a superfood shake of Chocolate Vegan Shakeology (blended with almond milk, blueberries, spinach, and ice) once or twice a day.
2) I don’t make plans
It’s that simple. My current schedule doesn’t allow for me to make plans because there’s a 90-95% chance that I’ll end up canceling them. Instead, everything is done on an “if I feel up to it” basis. It’s working for now.
You know what I want more than anything?
You know what I really want?
What my soul craves. What my heart longs for. What I can’t be content without.
It’s something that’s been there.
Actually, someone who’s been there.
Someone who’s been there by my side all along. Even when I was rebellious. Even when I sought my own pleasure instead of the true satisfaction that can only be found in one place.
He was there.
But somehow, even knowing the truth, my tendency is to slip away. I start to wander and almost lose myself as I seek adventure before the source of adventure.
I have sought blessings instead of the one who calls us blessed.
You have Lyme Disease, huh?
I’m so sorry!
Lyme Disease is rough, and facing it can often leave us questioning everything we thought we knew about health and ourselves. Some days we may have moments where we feel relatively “normal” before we’re spun into a place of pain, neurological symptoms, and grief.
For me, personally, most days are pretty rough. Since my diagnosis, I have seen some better days, but they are always followed deep valleys. Treatment may be working, but when you add in Herxheimer (die-off) reactions and flares, healing doesn’t seem to come as quickly as I would have hoped.
Each day is a battle of both the body and the mind. In order to help myself heal effectively, I have to remember a few things. If you’re also fighting Lyme Disease and co-infections, these simple reminders may make a difference for your outlook.
Back in November there was a workshop for Hope*Writers. In the summer when I got the information about the workshop, I was in such a poor health and financial situation that I knew it wasn’t going to be feasible to go this time around.
Knowing I wouldn’t be able to meet my writer friends in real life was a hard pill to swallow, but when I made the decision to instead purchase the online pass to watch the conference recordings I knew it was the right choice.
Fast forward a few months to the weekend of the conference. As I laid in bed in pain on the days my writer friends were meeting each other and delving into teaching that would spur them on in their callings, I was jealous.
I was frustrated and angry that a party was going on and I was stuck at home watching it from afar in a highlight reel on social media. It was another situation where I was invited, but I couldn’t go. This seems to be a common occurrence in my chronically ill life. If you have a chronic illness, you can probably relate!
As I scrolled through Instagram and Facebook on the days of the Hope*Writers Workshop, I grew discontent with my current life situation. I was tired of being sick. I didn’t want to miss out on fun and on learning the skills I needed to continue in my calling to write. Sure, I would eventually watch the conference recordings, but it wouldn’t be the same as being there in person. There’s energy and excitement that comes from connecting in person that can’t be replicated through online avenues.
Tears fall down my cheeks nearly every day. From the pain, to the intensified symptoms during die-off reactions, to the emotional overload of it all, I am left feeling broken and alone.
I want to hide. I want to run. But, I don’t even know where to go.
Plus, my legs won’t carry me very far.
Each day I battle with physical, mental, and emotional wounds that come with fighting chronic Lyme Disease and co-infections.
I never know how I will feel from one minute to the next, so life is almost impossible to plan.
Constantly weighing the pros and cons of each daily task, I must determine what is necessary to complete and what I need to do for my mental health. There’s not enough energy to go around to function like a normal human being, so sacrifices are made for the sake of treatment.
When I have a good day, I can’t even fully embrace it because if I try to do everything I’d like, I know that the next two days will be spent in bed recovering.